NAR’s Pathways to Professionalism are professional courtesies which REALTORS® should show to the public, property and their peers. While these should be honored, they are also voluntary and cannot form a basis for a Professional Standards/Ethics complaint. So, why do we care? Up to 80 percent of calls we receive focus on professionalism, or lack thereof, which is damaging to our industry and the REALTOR® brand. In this new series, focused on “True Tales of Professionalism,” we’ll examine some cringe-worthy, real life examples of REALTORS® who didn’t violate the Code of Ethics, but certainly missed the mark on professionalism.
Today, let’s look at #8 under “Respect for Peers”:
“Do not prospect at other REALTORS®’ open houses or similar events.”
As the story goes, one of our REALTORS® had an open house. A man walks in, the REALTOR® introduces himself and asks the visitor to sign in. The REALTOR® then asks the visitor if he has a broker; the visitor says no.
Great, the REALTOR® thinks. The REALTOR® tells the visitor to take a look around, and walks away to answer a question from another potential homebuyer.
When the REALTOR® returns to the sign-in table, he immediately realizes the visitor isn’t a potential homebuyer – he was handing out his own REALTOR® business card to all of the potential buyers at the open house.
This isn’t cool, no matter how you look at it. We understand REALTORS® are always on the hunt for new business, but prospect on your own time – not on another REALTORS® time (and dime!). Mistakes such as these are a sure way to ruin your reputation among your fellow REALTORS®; trust us, this business is smaller than you think.